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The Legion today - 2016

 

When I joined the Legion a number of years ago I asked some friends: “What’s the first thought that pops into your head when I say Royal Canadian Legion?” Their answers were almost the same, “old men sitting around drinking cheap beer”. Well, today’s Legion is far more than that.

 

Today’s Legion is a vibrant member of the community. Take R.C.L. Highland Creek Branch 258 located at 45 Lawson Road for example. Friday nights are very popular. That’s Karaoke Night and the room is full and buzzing. Saturdays start in the afternoon with the Legions famous “Meat Roll” a game of chance where you can win bundles of fresh meat. Then Saturday evenings it’s dance time. Every Saturday evening with the odd exception there is dancing in our lounge. These dances are either with live bands or a D.J. Many Sundays start out with Sunday Brunch; all you can eat for $8. Then; on off setting Sundays it’s Pub Sunday, which has live entertainment and a great meal for $7 to $10 depending on the meal. All of the above is open not only to members but the general public who wish to attend and have a relaxing, enjoyable time.

 

During the week the members are engaged in many exciting activities. There is a Dart League, there is Shuffleboard every Tuesday evening, there are four snooker tables and a coin operated pool table. There are Chair Yoga classes, Line dancing classes, Cribbage, Euchre, Horseshoes and just plain gab fests. Banquet Hall facilities are available for weddings, anniversaries, special occasions, etc. at reasonable rates. Branch 258 is very proud of its Colour Guard which was formed in 1966 and celebrates its 50 th anniversary on September 16, 2016. The Colour Guard participates in Legion Branch meetings, Civic, Regional, National and International competitions. In addition, the Colour Guard is active in community parades, Highland Games, ceremonies commemorating the Second World War, the Korean and Desert Storm conflicts, as well as in Canadian Armed Forces Peacekeeping ceremonies at local schools.


Outside, the Legion is involved in many events involving schools, some of which are, the Poster Contest, Public Speaking Contests and a national Essay Contest. This year’s Essay winner was a Branch 258 contestant. The legion also supports local community events such as the Highland Creek Heritage Day Festival held in June each year and makes donations to local churches over the Christmas season in assisting the less fortunate. This year, during the week of Sept. 19th known as Legion Week, Branch 258’s doors are open to the public to give you an opportunity to learn more about the Legion and especially the fun and interesting activities Branch 258 has to offer to you and the community. But without doubt, the most sacred events in Legion life is the annual Poppy Campaign and Remembrance Day services. Through the Poppy Campaign, beginning the end of October until November 11, monies raised each year go to assist and help our Veterans. This includes Poppy funds being used for low-rental housing and care facilities for elderly or disabled veterans and their families, community medical appliances and medical research, drop-in centres, meals-on-wheels, transportation and related services to help Veterans and their families. If you see a Legion member participating in the Poppy Campaign, please consider obtaining a Poppy to wear and make a donation if you wish.

 

Ellery Hollingsworth